Haute Garonne

Haute-Garonne

[oht-ga-rawn]
Haute-Garonne (Occitan: Nauta Garona; English: Upper Garonne) is a department in the southwest of France named after the Garonne river. Its main city is Toulouse.

History

Haute-Garonne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Languedoc.

Geography

Haute-Garonne is part of the current region of Midi-Pyrénées and is surrounded by the departments of Hautes-Pyrénées, Gers, Tarn-et-Garonne, Tarn, Aude, and Ariège. It also borders Spain in the south (province of Lleida and province of Huesca). Along with other agricultural products, this village is well known for its farming and production of pork and of other pig products. It is referred to by locals at times as "Le village de Jambon" (the town of ham) for this reason.

The department is crossed by the upper course of the Garonne River (hence the name) for nearly 200 kilometers (125 miles). The borders of the department follow the river. The Garonne enters France from Spain at the town of Fos, goes through Toulouse and leaves the department The extreme south of the department lies in the Pyrenees mountain range and is very mountainous. The highest elevation is the Peak of Perdiguère, at 3,222 meters (10,571 ft) above sea level.

Demographics

The inhabitants of the department are called Haut-Garonnais. The greatest population concentration is around Toulouse. The south of the department is quite sparsely populated. More than a million people inhabited the department at the last census in 1999. Young people are well represented with 55% of the population under the age of 40 and of those, 16% are between the ages of 20 and 29. This is because Toulouse is a university town.

The largest towns are :

Commune Population (1999) Commune Population (1999)
Toulouse 390 350 Colomiers 28 538
Tournefeuille 22 758 Muret 20 735
Blagnac 20 586 Plaisance-du-Touch 14 164
Cugnaux 12 997 L'Union 12 141
Balma 11 944 Ramonville-Saint-Agne 11 696
Saint-Orens-de-Gameville 11 142 Saint-Gaudens 10 845
Castanet-Tolosan 10 250 Portet-sur-Garonne 8 737
Saint-Jean 8 362 Villeneuve-Tolosane 8 252
Revel 7 985 Castelginest 7 735
Pibrac 7 440 Fonsorbes 6 909

Winter Sports

The department has four ski resorts.

  • Peyragudes (1600 m -2450 m), 55 km of slopes
  • Luchon-Superbagnères (1440 m - 2260 m), 30 km of slopes
  • Le Mourtis (1380 m - 1816 m), 22 km of slopes
  • Bourg-d'Oueil (1350 m - 1500 m)

See also

External links

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